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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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The Priority of Personal Prayer

July 16, 2016 2 Comments
The Priority of Personal Prayer

Today’s Gospel is the very familiar one of Martha and Mary. Martha is the anxious worker seeking to please the Lord with a good meal and hospitality; Mary sits quietly at His feet and listens. One has come to be the image of work, the other of prayer. Misinterpreted? In my lifetime I have heard […]

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Judge Carefully, Slowly, and Humbly – As Seen in an Animated Short Film

July 15, 2016 2 Comments
Judge Carefully, Slowly, and Humbly – As Seen in an Animated Short Film

The video below contains a surprise, reminding us that not all things are as they appear. We should be careful about sizing things up, and when we must do so, do it with great humility. There is an old saying that seems appropriate: If your words are soft and sweet, they won’t be as hard […]

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Straining Out Gnats but Swallowing Camels, as Seen in a Commercial

July 14, 2016 4 Comments
Straining Out Gnats but Swallowing Camels, as Seen in a Commercial

Today’s Gospel (Mat 12:1-8), in which Jesus is rebuked for violating the Sabbath, reminded me of the video below. It illustrates how we sometimes follow smaller rules while overlooking bigger ones in the process. The Lord Jesus was often scorned by the people of His day, who claimed that He overlooked certain details of the […]

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There’s a Yoke to Be Carried in Following Jesus – Make Sure It’s Jesus’ Yoke, Not Yours

July 13, 2016 4 Comments
There’s a Yoke to Be Carried in Following Jesus – Make Sure It’s Jesus’ Yoke, Not Yours

The Gospel from Wednesday’s Daily Mass contains memorable but often misunderstood lines: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest … Take my yoke upon you … For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. The most important word in this sentence is the word “my.” […]

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Is It Time to Flee the World?

July 12, 2016 28 Comments
Is It Time to Flee the World?

As we go through the Book of the Prophet Isaiah at Mass, we read of Israel’s painful purifications and also of a coming punishment of the surrounding nations. These ancient stories have something to say to us today. As Isaiah sets forth, God permitted the nations to persecute Israel in order that she be purified. […]

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Who was Isaiah?

July 11, 2016 3 Comments
Who was Isaiah?

We are reading excerpts from the Prophet Isaiah this week in the Daily Liturgy, particularly from passages in which God’s judgment on unbelief and sin is proclaimed. I will write a bit more on this tomorrow, but perhaps for today there is some benefit in looking at Isaiah by way of overview. Let’s consider key […]

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Some Thoughts on Recent Tragedies and Racial Tensions

July 10, 2016 22 Comments
Some Thoughts on Recent Tragedies and Racial Tensions

For some twenty-four of my twenty-seven years as a priest I have lived in and ministered to largely African-American parishes and communities. It has been a great blessing to me spiritually, liturgically, and personally. As you may imagine, I get a lot of questions from people when racially charged events appear in the news. I’m […]

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Love Lightens Every Load – A Homily for the 15th Sunday of the Year

July 9, 2016 4 Comments
Love Lightens Every Load – A Homily for the 15th Sunday of the Year

One could easily reduce today’s Gospel to trite moralisms: Help people in trouble; Be kind to strangers; etc. While these are certainly good thoughts, I would argue that it is about far deeper things than human kindness or ethics. This is a Gospel about the transformative power of God’s love and our need to receive […]

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